I get asked one question more than any other – it doesn’t matter if I’m working with an individual coaching client, a corporate team, or giving a keynote presentation at a conference, I am inevitably asked some version of the following question:
“I feel so frazzled. How can I do a better job of achieving ‘balance’ in my life?”
These people have goals for their lives and they are working hard to achieve them, but they feel like they are shortchanging other areas of their lives and are striving for more “balance.”
Here is my answer to the balance question…
If you seek to achieve some big goal that is beyond anything you have ever done before, then the concept of a balanced is a myth.
You see, you only have 100% of your energy to devote to all of the various areas of your life. Let’s say you have a goal that you are reaching for – something big that you want badly. At the same time you want a wonderful relationship with your spouse and your children, you also want to be a great employee and get that big promotion, plus you want to be more involved in your church, and on top of all that you want to get in better shape physically.
There are five facets of your life that you are seeking to improve (in addition to everything else that is going on in your life, but let’s keep it simple and just focus on those five areas).
In a “balanced life,” you would only devote 20% of your energy to each of those areas.
The result is balanced mediocrity. And if that’s what you strive for then there’s nothing at all wrong with it – but you have to realize that you will never achieve a huge, breakthrough goal if you’re only willing to give it a balanced proportion of your time and energy.
Okay Deb, what are you saying? If I have a big goal I have to ignore my family, quit my job, leave my church and forget about working out?
Of course not! That’s not what I’m saying at all.
What I AM reiterating is that we are all either creating or disintegrating – nothing stands still.
So, if you want to achieve a big, breakthrough goal quickly, you have to give it a disproportionately large amount of your energy. You give all the other areas of your life enough energy to keep growing slightly – so that they are not stagnating and disintegrating – and then you throw everything else at your goal.
And you may have to adjust the percentages over time as different areas of your life require more or less attention.
Just know that throwing yourself purposely off balance is the fastest way I know of to achieve your goals.
So, think about your goals and your life. Are you giving your goal enough of your energy to have a real chance of achieving it?
Conversely, are you ignoring all the other areas of your life in order to pursue your goal in a bubble? I dare say that waking up with a goal achieved, but no one to share it with would be less than satisfying.
Reject the myth of chasing a balanced life and go out and create a life of dreams come true – a life worth living!